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Whether you’re a veteran who’s relocating to a new job, paying medical bills, or completing a major home improvement project, a personal loan can give you money when you need it.
Some lenders work specifically with veterans and may offer special perks for military service. Other lenders, including online lenders, might offer autopay discounts and 24-hour customer service.
A number of personal loans for veterans are designed specifically for you. When you’re looking for a personal loan, consider what mix of benefits, discounts, and loan terms will work best for your needs.
Here’s what you should know about your personal loan options and other financial resources for veterans:
- Lenders that work specifically with veterans
- Lenders that work with veterans with bad credit
- Lenders that work with veterans with good credit
- Other financial resources for veterans
- Applying for a loan as a veteran
Lenders that work specifically with veterans
Two financial institutions cater exclusively to active-duty service members, military veterans, and their families. (These aren’t Credible partner lenders.)
Navy Federal Credit Union
Navy Federal Credit Union offers loan amounts of up to $50,000 with loan terms as long as 60 months (and up to 180 months for home improvement loans). You can receive same-day funding, in most cases.
Membership for Navy Federal Credit Union is open to veterans, active-duty military members, Department of Defense civilian employees, and their family members. Because credit unions tend to have less-strict requirements than traditional banks, you’re more likely to qualify for a loan from a credit union if you have less-than-stellar credit.
USAA is a full-service bank that offers checking accounts, savings accounts, and loans. If you’re a military service member, veteran, spouse of a service member or veteran, or your parents were members of USAA, you may be eligible to become a USAA member, too.
USAA offers personal loans of up to $100,000 with loan repayment terms of 12 to 84 months. If you sign up for automatic payments, you might receive an interest rate discount. If you’re approved for a loan, USAA can deposit the funds into your USAA bank account as soon as 24 hours after you close on the loan.
Lenders that work with veterans with bad credit
If you have bad credit, it can be more challenging to get approved for a loan or credit card. If you’re offered a loan, you’ll likely pay a higher interest rate than someone with good credit. While it’s true that having bad credit affects the interest rate you’ll be offered, it doesn’t mean you can’t get a loan.
These Credible partner lenders work with borrowers with poor to fair credit:
Although Avant has higher interest rates than other lenders, it can still be a smart choice. The lender works with borrowers who have lower credit scores, so you might qualify for a loan with a score as low as 550.
Avant offers loans from $2,000 to $35,000, repayment terms of two to five years, and rates between 9.95% – 35.99% APR. If you’re approved by 4:30 p.m. Central time on a weekday, you could receive your loan funds as soon as the next business day.
LendingClub is a peer-to-peer lender, meaning individual investors pool their resources to offer loans to borrowers. The application process is quick and easy, and you can find out if you’re approved for a loan within minutes. (Typical loan funding time is about two days.)
LendingClub offers loans between $1,000 and $40,000, with repayment terms of three or five years. Best of all, the company’s minimum credit score is just 600. It offers rates between 7.04% – 35.89% APR.
Lenders that work with veterans with good credit
If you have good to excellent credit, you should compare the best personal loan lenders to ensure you get the most favorable terms. You can work with an online lender and get the money you need in just a day or two. Here are Credible’s partner lenders that work with borrowers with good credit.
LightStream offers several different types of personal loans, from loans for kitchen or bath remodeling jobs to debt consolidation loans. Depending on the type of loan you choose, and if you sign up for automatic payments, you might qualify for rates between 3.49% – 19.99% APR.
LightStream offers loans ranging from $5,000 to $100,000, with repayment terms of two to seven years. For home improvement loans, you could have up to 20 years to repay the funds you borrow. And you could receive your loan funds as soon as the same business day.
SoFi is another great option for veterans with good credit. If you have a major expense coming up — such as a roof repair — and need access to a lot of cash quickly, SoFi may be for you. The company offers loans up to $100,000 with repayment terms of two to seven years. You can receive your loan funds in about three business days.
As a SoFi customer, you also get access to a suite of benefits that could be especially beneficial to veterans entering the civilian workforce, such as career coaching and networking events.
Credible’s partner lenders can help veterans save money on a personal loan. Use our personal loan calculator below to estimate your monthly payments. Simply enter the loan amount, interest rate, and loan term to see how much you’ll pay over the life of the loan.
Enter your loan information to calculate how much you could pay
With a $ loan, you will pay $ monthly and a total of $ in interest over the life of your loan. You will pay a total of $ over the life of the loan.
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Other financial resources for veterans
Before submitting your loan application for a personal loan, it’s a good idea to exhaust all your other options first, so you don’t take on unnecessary debt. As a veteran, you may qualify for low-interest loans, grants, and other support.
Department of Veterans Affairs
If you’re a veteran and need money to pay for a major purchase or to consolidate debt, one option to consider is taking out a cash-out refinance VA loan from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). With a VA home loan, you can borrow against your home’s equity to handle large expenses. Because your home acts as collateral, you may be able to qualify for a much lower interest rate than if you took out an unsecured personal loan.
If you’re having trouble making ends meet and need short-term financial assistance, like help with a monthly payment on your mortgage or utilities, contact 2-1-1. It’s a nationwide information and referral hotline that can connect you with local organizations that offer financial support for veterans.
Veterans of Foreign Wars
If you’re experiencing an unexpected financial difficulty as a result of deployment or military-related activities, you may be eligible for an Unmet Needs grant from the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization. If you qualify, you could get a grant of $1,500 to handle necessary expenses. That’s a grant, not a loan, so it never needs to be repaid.
Applying for a loan as a veteran
Before applying for a loan as a veteran, make sure you shop around and compare prequalified rates from multiple personal loan lenders. By comparison shopping, you can ensure you get the best low interest personal loan for your situation.
What you need before applying for a personal loan
Before you apply for a loan, here’s what you’ll need:
- Your personal information: Name, birthdate, Social Security number
- Contact details: Phone number, address, email
- Employment: Annual income, job history, and proof of military service
- Debt and savings: Retirement accounts, investments, and savings accounts
- Loan amount: The purpose and amount of the loan and your desired terms
Applying with a cosigner
If you have poor credit, applying with a cosigner who has good credit can help you qualify for a loan and secure better rates and terms. A cosigner is usually a family member or good friend who signs your loan application and is responsible for making payments if you default on your loan. Not all lenders allow cosigners, so if you plan to use one, check with your lender first.
Watch out for scams
Some dishonest or predatory lenders might try to entice veterans with “special deals” on a loan. But if a loan seems too good to be true, it probably is. Do your research to make sure you’re working with a reputable lender. And pay attention to the fine print: Some small, short-terms loans that don’t require a credit check have excessive fees, high interest rates, and repayment terms that can be difficult to meet.
To make sure you aren’t paying more than you should for a loan, it’s important to shop around and compare loan options from at least three to five different lenders.
The personal loan companies in the table below compete for your business through Credible. You can request rates from all of these partner lenders by filling out just one form (instead of one form for each) and without affecting your credit score.
|Lender||Fixed rates||Loan amounts|
|9.95% - 35.99% APR||$2,000 to $35,000**|
|7.99% - 15.19% APR||$10,000 to $50,000|
|8.99% - 35.99% APR||$5,000 to $50,000|
|6.99% - 24.99% APR||$2,500 to $35,000|
|7.99% - 29.99% APR||$7,500 to $50,000|
|7.99% - 29.99% APR||$5,000 to $40,000|
|8.3% - 36.0% APR||$1,000 to $40,000|
|7.99% - 35.99% APR||$2,000 to $36,500|
|5.99% - 22.49% APR||$5,000 to $100,000|
|6.99% - 24.99% APR1||$3,500 to $40,0002|
|18.0% - 35.99% APR||$1,500 to $20,000|
|7.74% - 17.99% APR||$600 to $50,000
(depending on loan term)
|6.99% - 35.99% APR||$2,000 to $50,000|
|5.99% - 35.99% APR||$3,500 to $40,000|
|7.99% - 23.43% APR10||$5,000 to $100,000|
|11.69% - 35.93% APR7||$1,000 to $20,000|
|7.96% - 35.97% APR||$1,000 to $50,000|
|5.4% - 35.99% APR4||$1,000 to $50,0005|
Kathryn Pomproy contributed to the reporting for this article.